“Home” means different things to each of us. For some, home is where you grew up. For others, home is on wheels! And for others – like me – home can refer to more than one place or people group at the same time. For me right now, home is the sweet little house that my husband and I are getting ready to welcome a second son into. Other “homes” in my life are my church family and my beloved people in India.
I am one of those people who LOVES to be home. Don’t get me wrong, ok – I also love hanging out with people, going fun places with my husband and son, or being in on everything I can help with at church. But just as much as I love having places to go and people to see, I am nearly beside myself with satisfaction when I have an entire day where I don’t have to leave the house!
Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I love my little home. It’s nothing fancy or big; but it is ours. It has a sense of peace, retreat, and rest from the hustle and bustle of life – very much like a haven. Of course there are days where this peaceful state is interrupted by hurtful words, painful news, or toddler messes galore; yet, as the keeper of the home, I do my very best to keep such things at a minimum. I want my husband and sons to enjoy being home as much as I do!
We all have times where home is not the happiest place. I’ve been there…and I’ll probably be there again. Even if it’s not some life trial, it could be something like endless laundry or clutter everywhere that makes for an unhappy home. So, how do we make things better?
Well, allow me to let you all in on a few little secrets about myself! Between my mother, India, and me, I am the least best housekeeper! No, really…it’s true. They are both much better at things like meal plans, keeping up with house cleaning, and decorating than I am. I also have many days where I wake up with a long list of chores and end up completing zero of them. Fatigue is a constant companion of mine, and so often my husband has to pitch in with things, which makes me feel really bad (though he does not complain about it!). However – as God has given me the primary roles of wife, mother, and housekeeper, I daily strive to improve my weaknesses in these areas.
That being said, may I encourage you with a few reminders. Remember that we all strengthen at different paces and in different ways. You may be a chef extraordinaire, but your living room might constantly look like a tornado hit it. Perhaps you love to organize (like me!!) but you’re better at organizing closets than you are at organizing your schedule. Instead of trying to fix everything at once (because then life would be perfect, and that’s just not how life works!), try these things:
Find one weakness at a time and work on it. Make yourself do something to improve that weakness, whatever it may be. A few minutes every day goes a long way in self-discipline!
If you can afford it, consider hiring someone to help you keep your home! There is no shame in this if it is feasible within your budget. The Proverbs Thirty-One woman had maidens, remember?
If you are facing a life trial, don’t burden yourself with self-guilt about what’s not getting done. Take a couple days (or weeks) to breathe, and allow yourself to reset. Remember to include much communal time with God in that period of reset.
Be willing to re-evaluate the schedule you’re keeping and see if your priorities are in order.
Maybe this topic has been on my mind because of being 39 weeks pregnant! My poor husband – together we have blitzed the house with cleaning, organizing, and decluttering several times in the past several weeks. But, it has paid off: I am now feeling much more ready to welcome another newborn, and my husband commented on how nice everything in the house feels right now!